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Old 01-17-2012, 07:13 AM   #37
oregoncoast OP
Racing Like a Noob
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Duh!
Oddometer: 4,527
Originally Posted by Luke View Post

You'll also notice that the front end is removed. While we are waiting for the machine shop to finish the lower stearing head "collar," (and bronze swingarm bushings) we took this opportunity to get the forks, triples and wheel squared away. This week they will be getting cleaned and painted where needed.

Originally Posted by Luke View Post
It took nearly three hours of messing around to get the brake right. Just a whole lot of 'maybe this will reach' trying different ways of hooking up a cable that would work. In the end, a cable from an MR250 that had been pack-ratted away last year saved the day. It was almost a bolt-up that will require a bit of welding on a clevis part, but no frame or cable mods.
Indeed. This was one of those things that kept nagging at me. I kept forgetting to bring it up, but I know that we would have to find a solution to replace the stock rear brake cable (since we stretched the swingarm 2" ) and we weren't sure whether that would be another cable, a rod, or maybe upgrade the rear brakes entirely.

My goals for this bike has always been reliability, the ability to fix things when/if they break in Mexico, and to keep it as close to stock as feasible. There was lots of discussion about adapting an XR rear wheel to work or using an old Yamaha TT rear wheel like Rick has on his race SL350. We realized that there wasn't that much of a difference in weight over stock. Also, we have several stock rear wheels to serve as spares and by staying with the stock swingarm and wheel, no need to change spacers, adjusters or mounting hardware...that just saves time and money.

While Luke was in the middle of fabbing up a doohickey to lengthen the clevis that attaches the cable to the brake lever, I found that a cable from Lonnie's XL500 was a little bit longer (but not long enough), and had the Honda specific fittings on each end to fit in the molds in the wheel and the frame. Then I spotted some cables stored in a cardboard tube.

"Hey Lonnie, what are these cables from?"

"SL and MR parts."

Last year I bought 2 SL350 and 2 MR250 parts bikes and we tore them down and saved most of the usable parts. This in addition to a XL350 that someone gave Lonnie. The great things about old Hondas is that many of the parts are interchangeable, even though they may have changed slightly over the years. This is great for a motorcycle builder and on our SL you'll find stock Honda parts from several different models that simply bolt up. Buying those Craiglists parts bike proved to be a very smart move.

I pulled out a black rear brake cable in great shape...from the MR250. It had the proper Honda fittings and was about two inches longer than the SL cable, in the right place, and bolted right up! As Luke stated, the only mod necessary was to notch the clevis to get it off the SL Cable, and now to just weld the notch back up so the MR cable will stay on it. I admit, I dance a little jig when I saw that this cable solved our brake cable problems. And I had two of them, so we now have a spare!

Luke and Allan worked the swingarm through its full motion and the brake cable looks like it will work. The XR650R chain guide that Rick bought off Ebay and the roller also worked like charm. We'll be testing these components hard because the chain length and swingarm mod are the biggest unknown on the bike right now. But it looks like the boys have come up with a simple, strong solution using existing Honda parts where possible, and keeping it as close to stock in appearance as possible!

It really was a great build day
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